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The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

Employees who claim they suffered emotional distress because of illegal disability discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act don’t have to rely solely on the workers’ compensation system to adjudicate their claims. They can go to court instead, suing for negligent infliction of emotional distress under state common law …

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Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, it is unlawful for an employer to harass an employee based on the employee’s age. And employers are strictly liable for workplace harassment if the harasser is a supervisor. As a practical matter, that means HR must make sure no supervisor or manager makes any kind of comment that suggests any kind of age bias …

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On July 11, a California state court issued a restraining order prohibiting Local 3299 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) from invoking a planned strike against facilities at the University of California …

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A California Court of Appeal has held that California Labor Code sections dealing with overtime compensation, meal breaks and rest breaks don’t apply to California’s “charter counties.”

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San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre announced in July that Prudential Overall Supply has agreed to settle violations of the city’s living-wage ordinance. The uniform supplier will pay $65,000. Aguirre filed a lawsuit against the company, arguing that it paid its workers below the rates set forth in the San Diego Living Wage Ordinance, which became law in 2005 …

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Rite Aid drugstores recently reached tentative agreements on two new three-year contracts with seven locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union. The new agreements will cover approximately 7,100 Southern California clerks and pharmacists working at 400 Rite Aid stores …

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An overwhelming majority of nursing home workers at 10 Sava Senior Care facilities in Northern California ratified a new contract in July. It will cover more than 1,000 workers who are members of the Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW) …

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For California employers, even minor wage-and-hour violations can wind up costing employers millions of dollars. Blame it on California’s infamous “multiplier effect,” which can come into play in any wage-and-hour case, but which really adds up in class-action suits …

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California employees of several supermarkets and drug stores will receive their share of a $15 million settlement in a class-action wage suit. Approximately 200,000 employees of Albertsons, Lucky Stores and Sav-On Drugs will each receive up to $350 if their employment ended between Sept. 29, 1996, and Dec. 31, 2004 …

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The California State Assembly has passed a bill that would allow private-sector employees who don’t have employer-based pension plans to open individual retirement savings accounts with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) …

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